Baltimore officials on Wednesday hired singer Davon Fleming — a city native who rose to fame on the NBC show “The Voice” — to a one-year consulting contract and officially named him grand marshal of this year’s Martin Luther King Day parade.
The Board of Estimates, which is controlled by Mayor Catherine Pugh, approved the consulting contract with Fleming, who will be paid up to $65,000 this year to “develop the operation of a program for City youth that focuses on the performing arts and community enrichment.”
After the board vote, Pugh announced Fleming as the grand marshal of Monday’s long-running parade.
“The legacy of Martin Luther King is so important to the people,” said City Council Vice Chairwoman Sharon Green Middleton, who appeared alongside Pugh in making the announcement.
“I would like to thank the mayor for giving me this opportunity,” Fleming said.
Fleming, who grew up in Park Heights, has received a warm welcome from his hometown since his elimination on “The Voice” last month. The singer made it to the semifinals.
Upon his return, Pugh greeted him with marching bands at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. Pugh gave Fleming a key to the city and called him “Baltimore’s star.”
He also sang the national anthem before the Ravens’ final game of the season against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Pugh had initially planned to cancel the Martin Luther King Day parade in favor of a day of service. But after fielding complaints from the community, she reversed that decision.
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“We heard from people. We’ll do the parade and the day of service,” she said last month. “People want to do both.”